Bill Nye the “Science Guy” to Debate Ken Ham the “God Did It Guy” at Creationist Museum

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on January 3, 2014 0 Comments

Bill Nye the “Science Guy” to Debate Ken Ham the “God Did It Guy” at Creationist Museum

Yep, Bill Nye, Mechanical Engineer, science geek, educator, comedian, science popularize and all ‘round science whiz-kid all- grown-up will go to the Creation Museum in Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Ohio, on February 4 of this year. There he has agreed to debate Ken Ham, museum founder, director and chief apologist for the Creation Museum. Topic? As stated in Ken’s Blog, Answers in Genesis: “The agreed-upon topic for the 7 PM debate is “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?”

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Fossil Hominid Skull Display atThe Museum of Osteology – Oklahoma

Ken Ham challenged Bill Nye on his website “Answersingenesis.org,” and the Science Guy accepted. The challenge was issued because of a video Mr. Nye made in which he said the teaching of Creationism and “Young Earth” is harmful to children and risks America’s ability to continue to lead the world in science and engineering.

The question is, “Whyinell would Bill Nye do this?” Now that he has accepted, he has no choice, but why accept in the first place? Would he accept a debate with a member of the Flat Earth Society? Would he debate the heliocentrism of the solar system? As explained by Hement Mehta in his blog, Friendly Atheist, there are four reasons why this is a bad idea and cannot be made a good one because There’s no debate to be had here. The answer is already an unqualified “Not a snowball’s chance in hell.””:

  1. Ken Ham will get to tell his acolytes that there’s a genuine debate in the scientific community about the viability of Creationism.
  2. Look at that promotional image. Ham puts himself on a level playing field with Bill Nye, as if their ideas also carry equal weight.
  3. As Richard Dawkins pointed out: “When the debate is with someone like a Young Earth creationist, as the late Stephen Gould pointed out — they’ve won the moment you agree to have a debate at all. Because what they want is the oxygen of respectability
  4. They want to be seen on a platform with a real scientist, because that conveys the idea that here is a genuine argument between scientists… They may not win the argument — in fact, they will not win the argument, but it makes it look like there really is an argument to be had.”

Tickets are $25.00. If you must go, there are links in the linked blogs to tell you how… I won’t.

(In a small irony, the imprecision of news and common language versus the language of science is highlighted in the reports of this event. Although every newspaper, television and blog account of the upcoming debate headlines it as a “debate on evolution,” the agreed topic is, “Is creation a viable model of origins…” {emphasis mine}. The theory of evolution does not address origins. Nonetheless, my bet is that the debate will devolve quickly into a debate on evolution, while origins are conflated with it. I doubt even Bill Nye will be able to haul this one anywhere close to the described topic.)

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